FoxNews.com - (11/20/17)
President Trump announced Monday that the United States is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, something he said “should have happened a long time ago.”
Trump announced the designation in a Cabinet meeting at the White House, clearing the way for more sanctions on the “murderous” rogue regime, just days after returning from his historic 13-day trip to Asia.
“We will be instituting a very critical step,” Trump said. “Today, the U.S. is designating North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. [This] should have happened a long time ago -- should have happened years ago.”
With the president’s directive, North Korea will return to the State Department’s list of designated state sponsors of terrorism for the first time since its removal by the Bush administration in 2008. North Korea will be among Iran, Sudan, and Syria.
“North Korea has repeatedly supported acts of international terrorism including assassinations on foreign soil,” Trump said Monday. “... This designation will impose further sanctions and penalties on North Korea and related persons.”
Trump also cited the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, who was imprisoned in North Korea and died days after being returned to the U.S. in a coma.
Trump added that the designation supports a “maximum-pressure campaign” on the “murderous regime.”
Trump explained that the sanctions would be imposed over a two-week period and would constitute the “highest level of sanctions” on North Korea.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson floated the idea of re-designating North Korea to the list in April.
According to the State Department, once designated, a country or nation state faces sanctions resulting in restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.
The president’s designation comes after months of fiery rhetoric toward North Korea’s rogue dictator Kim Jong Un, whom Trump has warned repeatedly to cease their nuclear activities.